I wrote an article about eating disorders and children with disabilities because I believe there is a higher rate of eating disorders and "disordered eating" among children with learning disabilities, chronic health conditions, developmental disabilities, depression, physical disabilities and other conditions.

Children with no diagnosis at all are growing up with eating disorders, or tending toward disordered eating and other symptoms and 'precursors' of eating disorders. I feel uneasy about the trend toward sending home reports on Body Mass Index with elementary school students without revamping school lunches, having school nurses or health professionals available at every school, providing regular physical activities like P.E., recess, and school sports that most children can afford, and figuring out the actual effects of the home reports.

Stress, anxiety and depression are commmon and dangerous enough for children and adolescents. Surely we could be doing more to support and encourage them at school and home.

We already know everything we need to know about the dramatic health effects of children being overweight, starving themselves, and/or 'just' being obsessed with weight and body image.

I first became aware of eating disorders when I worked at a mental hospital after graduating from UC Berkeley. It doesn't seem right that after all these years, the problem remains as serious, and has grown so much in proportion to the population.

I realize that February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month, but we should be thinking more about the issues involved year round, starting with children at very young ages and including children who represent the diversity of the population, including those who are growing up already diagnosed with something else.

Are medical professionals being trained to recognize the symptoms of disordered eating - or all we all developing a preoccupation, if not an obsession, with being more slender, and calling it an appropriate interest in health and fitness?'

Pam W
SE of Seattle

Eating Disorders and Children with Special Needs
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Last edited by SNC_Editor_Pam; 02/21/07 09:05 AM.

Pamela Wilson - Children with Special Needs Editor
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